In faith healing proper not only are powerful direct suggestions used, but the religious atmosphere and the autosuggestions of the patient co-operate, especially where the cures take place during a period of religious revival or at other times when large assemblies and strong emotions are found.
In the 16th century we find faith cures recorded of Luther and other reformers, in the next century of the Baptists, Quakers and other Puritan sects, and in the 18th century the faith healing of the Methodists in this country was paralleled by Pietism in Germany, which drew into its ranks so distinguished a man of science as Stahl (1660-1734) In the 19th century Prince Hohenlohe-WaldenburgSchillingsfiirst, canon of Grosswardein, was a famous healer on the continent; the Mormons and Irvingites were prominent among English-speaking peoples; in the last quarter of the 19th century faith healing became popular in London, and Bethshan homes were opened in 1881, and since then it has found many adherents in England.
With the Reformation' faith healing proper reappears among the Moravians and Waldenses, who, like the Peculiar People of our own day, put their trust in prayer and anointing with oil.
In the Christian Church the tradition of faith healing dates from the earliest days of Christianity; upon the miracles of the New Testament follow cases of healing, first by the Apostles, then by their successors; but faith healing proper is gradually, from the 3rd century onwards, transformed into trust in relics, though faith cures still occur sporadically in later times.
Used in this sense faith healing is indistinguishable from much of savage leech-craft, which seeks to cure disease by expelling the evil spirit in some portion of the body.